Posts Tagged ‘hitchhiking’

hitchhiking tales

October 14, 2014



In AMT299 we revealed how, in the matter of hitchhiking, none of us have ever given or received. But Jezz has written in with first-hand tales from the road:

Back in the early 1990s I spent about a year in total (over 4 years) hitchhiking around Southern Africa, Europe and Asia. During that time I had some lifts with some very interesting people, including a wealthy witch doctor from Lesotho.

The place where my girlfriend of the time and I got the strangest lifts was during our 3 weeks in Turkey. Whilst there we got a lift off a school bus full of children and a speedboat (we were trying for a car, but the speedboat did the trick). But the strangest of all was when a fire engine stopped for us. They told us to get on quickly (we did), and just few miles later we were told to get off quickly again (we did). We then watched the fire engine turn down a side road towards some smoke in the distance!

The easiest places to hitchhike, in my opinion, are Turkey, New Zealand – where there are no towns, and friendly people, so when you get picked up, you will usually go all the way to your destination – and Japan, where the locals don’t understand the rules. I once got a lift just outside the place where I was living, and was taken for about a 2-hour ride to the city I was intending to go to. When I was dropped off, I asked my lift where they were heading to next. It turned out that they were only planning to drive around the corner, and so had done a 4-hour round trip for no reason, other than that was where I said I was going to.

One last point: I got my first post-university job from hitchhiking. I had a 2-hour lift in France with an English guy, who turned out to be a metal trader. By the end of the lift, I had a job, and got to travel around the world on business trips – and also led me to getting my longest ever hitch of 13 days, when I went from the UK to Almaty, Kazakhstan to buy some Indium, but to have the experience of seeing Russia along the way. This was back in 1994, and it was a *very* interesting time to do that route.

Does anyone else have happy hitchhiking stories (ie ones which didn’t end with them being murdered by Rutger Hauer) to share in the comments?

And does anyone else feel, like me, that they’d rather pay to travel via some other method just so they don’t have to make chat for four hours with a stranger.


Thursday Listening Party

October 9, 2014


On the Thursdays we don’t release a new AMT, we crank up the spoken word audio and have a Thursday Listening Party.
Click here to attend all previous gatherings.

I am giddy with excitement about AMT300! I hope you like it as much as/even more than I do. I guess we’ll all find out next week.

Until then, alternative entertainments.

From home:

Earlier this year, I spoke at the Boring Conference. Martin’s talk about eggs was on the playlist at a previous Thursday Listening Party; now, here’s mine, about the disgusting and depressing contents of cookery books:

Something else which alternately delights and horrifies me is being a freelancer. I’ve been one for nearly ten years, and I still haven’t figured out how to even up the boom-or-bust cycle. So for this month’s Sound Women podcast, I gathered together with some excellent freelancers to discover their secrets (one of them used to work as an official Mrs Potato Head!), and to consolegratulate each other:

If you want, you can also hear me in the new history podcast Z List Dead List, and you can read me banging on (again!) about podcasting in this interview with Podcaster News.

From elsewhere:

To accompany his question about the demise of hitchhiking in AMT299, questioneer Toby in Cheshire alerted us to this episode of Four Thought from Radio 4, in defence of hitchhiking. It’s refreshing to hear someone speaking positively about the MOBILE MURDER NETWORK.

On the subject of journeys, I’m working my way through the winners of the 2014 Third Coast Audio Festival, and thanks to Linda Lutton’s Chicago to Mexico – By Bus, I’m having flashbacks to a 36-hour coach journey I endured in 2002 – a mere blink of an eye compared to hers!

The new podcast in everyone’s ears this week is Serial, the long-form investigation of a murder case by This American Life producers Sarah Koenig and Julie Snyder. I chained the first three episodes and now I NEED MORE.

And finally: early this morning I received an email from Olly saying, “It’s 5:43am. Just watched all of this.”

Fill your boots.

Tune in to our various other gigs:

After four delightful years, my gig on <a href="BBC 5 Live’s Saturday Edition” target=”_blank”>BBC 5 Live’s Saturday Edition just came to an end. Listen to the podcast of the final episode here.
Olly’s on LBC every weekday 1am-4am. Keep pinching yourself to stay awake and join him.
Martin the Sound Man makes numerous other podcasts, including Brain Train about clever things, The Global Lab about cities and stuff, and The Sound of the Ladies music podcast.
AMT episodes 1-170 and the special AMT albums are all available for a piddling little price at, and if you buy any of them you’re bankrolling the podcast, for which we are extremely grateful.
Catch up on AMT299 and the episodes preceding it.


EPISODE 299 – I’m available to be murdered

October 2, 2014

Hi listeners! Are you looking to get rid of any household items, or are you looking for something that Freecycle cannot supply? We ask because it seems in Answer Me This! Episode 299, the show has become the audio equivalent of Loot. It’s been a long time coming.

Subscribe to AMT! on iTunes listen to the MP3 through your computer soundcloud-icon our podcast feed on Libsyn Share with Facebook

On today’s agenda:

hitchhiking vs Megabus
Points of View‘s mailbag vs AMT’s inbox
exercise vs the Olly Mann diet
1lb vs 454g
personal trainers
soft landings in playgrounds
The Loneliest Road In America
papal pocket money
accommodating the Dalai Lama
adult spring riders/rockers/animals/vehicles
Alfred Molina

Plus: Olly has a HUGE…collection of tea towels; Helen doesn’t want to ride in your helicopter, unless it’s too embarrassing to say no; and can anyone explain what Martin the Sound Man meant by ‘Godwin Filter’? We pretended we knew what he was talking about, but really were shrugging inside.

In case you’ve been anxious for the past two months to find out how Helen is faring in her mission to learn to love The Great British Bake Off, you can end that anxiety by listening to today’s Bit of Crap on the App, which is available for iDevices old and new, Android or Windows playthings.

If you’re anxious about how to build a super-nice website, relax! Visit, have a fiddle with their easy web-building tools, and while you’re at it get 10% off their services for a whole year by using the code Answer.

It can’t have escaped your notice that if today is Episode 299, the next episode is AMT300!!!!111!!!ZOMG!!!!! We wouldn’t have got past one episode without your questions, so please keep sending them in: call the Question Line on 0208 123 5877 or Skype ID answermethis, or email And do let us know what is the best thing you’ve learned from Answer Me This! over the years (interpret ‘best’ and ‘learned’ as you will) in a comment here or over on or

We will return on 16th October with AMT300 (aka #AMT300)! Be sure to join us!

Helen & Olly

••• AMT299 Child-Friendly Rating: 64%. Quite a few cusswords but little vulgar content until the very end, when Olly shoots his load. •••